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  • Author: J. Bradford Jensen, Dennis P. Quinn, Stephen Weymouth
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: The authors investigate a puzzling decline in US firm antidumping (AD) filings in an era of persistent foreign currency undervaluations and increasing import competition. Firms exhibit heterogeneity both within and across industries regarding foreign direct investment (FDI). Firms making vertical, or resource-seeking, investments abroad are less likely to file AD petitions and firms are likely to undertake vertical FDI in the context of currency undervaluation. Hence, the increasing vertical FDI of US firms makes trade disputes far less likely. Data on US manufacturing firms reveals that AD filers generally conduct no intrafirm trade with filed-against countries. Persistent currency undervaluation is associated over time with increased vertical FDI and intrafirm trade by US multinational corporations (MNCs) in the undervaluing country. Among larger US MNCs, the likelihood of an AD filing is negatively associated with increases in intrafirm trade. The authors confirm that undervaluation is associated with more AD filings. However, high levels of intrafirm imports from countries with undervalued currencies significantly decrease the likelihood of AD filings. The study also highlights the centrality of firm heterogeneity in international trade and investment in understanding political mobilization over international economic policy.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: United States of America
  • Author: Jordan Howell
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: With limited space and ever-growing trash, the islands of the Pacific share unique challenges managing their solid wastes. The traditional approach has been to collect waste in open dumps and landfills. But overwhelmed sites and unsanitary conditions are driving governments to seek alternative solutions. Hawai'i has implemented "resource recovery" systems in past decades to deal with waste, including an innovative energy-from-waste project on O'ahu, and a recycling/composting program on Maui that focuses on diverting material from landfills. While both have been successful in reducing waste and generating products, the programs have also endured unexpected delays and problems. Despite differences in scale and capacity, the Hawai'i experience offers insights for other Pacific islands into how to tackle their own solid waste management issues, and create systems and policies that deliver the greatest ecological and economic benefits.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Energy Policy, Environment, Governance
  • Political Geography: United States of America
  • Author: Professor John F. Troxell
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: A recent editorial in The New York Times asked the question, “Who threatens America most?” It proceeded to compare recent pronouncements by incoming senior military leaders, the President, the FBI director, and finally the Director of National Intelligence. The major candidates included the usual nation states (Russia, North Korea, and China), a few nonstate terrorist organizations (ISIS and al-Qaeda), and a couple of unattributed capabilities (weapons of mass destruction and cyberattacks). The editorial concluded with the lament: “If officials cannot agree on what the most pressing threats are, how can they develop the right strategies and properly allocate resources?”1 Given the confusion and uncertainty generated by the current strategic environment, compounded by America’s resource-driven retrenchment, it is a fair question. However, I contend that we could pursue a more focused national strategy and do a better job of allocating resources if we focus on the opportunities as opposed to this wide array of threats. The opportunity that beckons is the increasingly interconnected global economy and the integral role played by the United States in both its institutional design and future evolution. A functioning, interconnected global economy will mitigate most, if not all, of the previously mentioned threats, whereas a fractured and disconnected global economy will exacerbate them.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Economics, Governance, Global Markets
  • Political Geography: Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Dr. Hal Brands
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: Is offshore balancing the right grand strategy for America? Is it time for Washington to roll back the vast system of overseas security commitments and forward military deployments that have anchored its international posture since World War II? This monograph argues that the answer to these questions is no. Offshore balancing represents the preferred grand strategy among many leading international-relations “realists,” who argue that significant geopolitical retrenchment can actually improve America’s strategic position while slashing the costs of its foreign policy. The reality, however, is rather different. The probable benefits of offshore balancing—both financial and geopolitical—are frequently exaggerated, while the likely disadvantages and dangers are more severe than its proponents acknowledge. In all likelihood, adopting this strategy would not allow America to achieve more security and influence at a lower price. The more plausible results would be to dissipate U.S. influence, to court heightened insecurity and instability, and to expose the nation to greater long-range risks and costs.
  • Topic: Economics, International Security, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: United States of America
  • Author: Philip Korom, Mark Lutter, Jens Beckert
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
  • Abstract: The social science literature proposes two competing explanatory frameworks for the existence and longevity of super-fortunes: superstar or winner-take-all mechanisms, suggesting an increased dominance of new self-made billionaires; and mechanisms focusing on inherited advantages, suggesting an enduring importance of old family fortunes. Using panel data from the USA’s annual Forbes 400 ranking (1982–2013), this study analyzes factors that increase or decrease the likelihood of remaining listed among the American super-rich. We find initially that the percentages of self-made entrepreneurs among the highest wealth echelons of US society have increased significantly since 1982. Sectors that improved the most are finance (including hedge funds and private equity), new technology and mass retail. The decline of inheritance as a source of wealth and the rise of new tech and finance fortunes suggest low reproduction rates among superrich property owners. Family wealth, however, plays an important role if the longevity of fortunes is considered. While the literature predicts family fortunes to be taxed away, divided among a large number of heirs, or lost through incompetence, we find that scions of inherited great wealth (mostly up to the third generation) are more likely to remain listed in the Forbes 400 roster than self-made entrepreneurs. We conclude that even though entrepreneurship increasingly matters for becoming super-rich, it is first and foremost the ability of rich family dynasties to retain control over corporations and to access sophisticated financial advice that makes fortunes last.
  • Topic: Economics, Science and Technology, Social Stratification, Landpower
  • Political Geography: United States of America
  • Author: Stefan Svallfors
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
  • Abstract: As Hacker and Pierson (2010) have observed, politics is primarily organization: “organized combat.” To understand the outcomes of politics, we have to look at how it is organized over time: by whom and with what resources? I take Sweden as an example of how politics as organized combat has changed quite dramatically in recent decades. Sweden is often cited as an opposite to the United States among the rich capitalist countries, but it has experienced many encompassing policy changes which have not received the attention they deserve. The paper specifies how Swedish organized politics has changed fundamentally, including the dismantling of corporatist arrangements, changes in the economic policy decision-making framework, increased income inequality, weakened political parties and changes in their social bases, the decline of blue-collar union strength, the growth of the policy professionals category, the increased impact of multilevel politics, and the mediatization of politics. Today’s amorphous, invisible mode of elite-driven policy-making diverges greatly from the old corporatist structures and is accompanied by dramatically increasing inequality. Even in Sweden, the impact of money on politics has become stronger. The paper discusses what this implies for current politics and policy-making in Sweden.
  • Topic: Economics, Politics, Labor Issues
  • Political Geography: Sweden, United States of America